Theoretical and experimental petrology

In our geo-materials research we focus on small scale structures and micro-chemical patterns. Crystal defects, grain- and phase boundaries, and micro-chemical zoning provide insight into the processes, which occur on the atomic or molecular level and control the kinetics of mineral reactions and bulk behavior of geological materials. These processes govern the development of microstructures and textures and this way coin the geodynamic record of rocks. In addition, they determine how and at what rate bulk rock properties change in response to external forcing and possibly feed back into geodynamic processes. Both, reading the petrogenetic information stored in rocks as well as understanding the feedback between bulk material properties and geodynamics is the target area of theoretical and experimental petrology. Experiments are done to simulate in the laboratory mineral reactions at relevant pressures and temperatures. Experimental run products are characterized using state of the art instrumental analysis with a focus on techniques with high spatial resolution such as electron- and ion-beam techniques. Micro-chemical patterns, microstructures and textures are interpreted based on quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic models and numerical simulations. Much of this research is embedded in a program of coordinated research: DFG Forschergruppe FOR 741: “Nanoscale processes and geomaterials properties”.